The other day there was a discussion in the comments section of this article about the Jagr signing. In regards to when a player is at their peak. Someone had posted this statement:
...players peak around 25 in the NHL.
I had then stated:
This just isn't true.
It was pretty short and to the point. Without pointing to any specific reasons behind my short blunt opinion. I took some flak. A long discussion followed. Some people disagreed with me and some people might have agreed.
I don't believe there is a real good way to measure at what age someone peaks or I should say peaked. For players who are still playing it's real hard if not impossible. For players who are done playing. With enough time and effort you can possibly calculate when some peaked. At least statistically. But we are talking about just the numbers. There are many variables that go into how those numbers come out. Trades, Injuries, Team systems, Length of Career are just some.
Looking back, I think in the moment. I seen someone write "...players peak around 25 in the NHL" I wasn't thinking just an average of goals & assists. I was thinking as an all around player. Not just a statistical average. In the conversation I pointed to an the example of Wayne Gretzky. Who had fantastic years when he was traded to the Kings at the age of 28. (He might have been 27)
So we have to define what peaking is. Is it point production? Goals? Defensive ability? I think in the context of the discussion the other day it was point production. (For Forwards) So I was trying to figure out a way to look at modern players. Players from the last decade. Even with some of the guys still playing.
This is what I came up with. Below is a chart of all the players who have finished in the top ten in scoring and their age. For the last decade. Since some players tie in points you'll notice there are more then just 10 each year. I included the point cut off for what qualified being in the top ten. Then the average age is at the bottom.
|Cut Off:||47 points||76 points||76 points||85 points||84 points||83 points||92 points||92 points||73 points||85 points|
The average age of a top ten scoring forward each year for the last decade is 27. I rounded the numbers. So its 27.1 to be exact. Well this shows absolutely nothing. I could have guessed this. As a matter of fact I did guess it. While I was putting it together I said, 'It's going to be 27". I think any well informed hockey fan could have guessed this. I was actually a bit disappointed with the results.
I mean, Whats the average NHL career? Ages 21 to 33? (I'm just guessing) Well 27 is right in the middle. I don't think this chart shows players peak at 27. It's just something I put together and wanted to share. Take it for what it is. I fully intended on going further with this. But I don't see a point. I hope no one is disappointed. I just feel the results are going to be similar and not really definitively confirm anything.
Never the less it is neat to see the individual players broken down like this.
Side Note: Been member here a while and this is my 1st attempt at a Fan Post.
So Enjoy, Discuss and Thanks.